Lingaraj Temple is located within a spacious compound wall of latterite measuring 520 ft by 465 ft. Biggest of all temples in the city, it is devoted to the Hindu god Harihara. In addition to being surmounted by a plain slant coping, the wall of the temple is 7 ft 6 inches thick. A terrace probably meant to protect the compound wall against outside aggression, runs alongside the inner face of the boundary wall.

Representing the quintessence of the Kalinga type of architecture, the temple rises to a height of about 180 ft. Linga' or 'Lingam', which is the symbol of Lord Shiva is worshipped by the devotees visiting the temple. Lord Shiva, whose consort is called Bhuvaneshvari, is worshipped at the temple as Tribhuvaneshwara (Master of three worlds, heaven, earth and netherworld).

Dating back to the last decade of the 11th century, the temple is more than 1,000 years old. Believed to be built by the Somavanshi King Jajati Keshari, in 11th century AD, the temple has 150 smaller shrines in its spacious courtyard and is surrounded by massive walls decorated with beautiful sculptures. Main temple, the Yajna Shala, the Bhoga Mandap and the Natya Shala are the four main parts of the site.

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